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Price dominates McCaskill in scrappy welterweight title triumph


Lauren Price completed her rapid ascent to the top of the welterweight division with a technical decision victory over WBA and Ring Magazine champion Jessica McCaskill.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Price (7-0, 1 KO) was boxing for just the seventh time as a professional but was a class apart against the one-time undisputed champ McCaskill (12-4-1, 5 KOs) from the first bell.

For all the flashes of Price’s quicksilver footwork and fast hands, the boisterous crowd in attendance at the Cardiff International Arena were forced to endure a scrappy contest that tested the patience of referee Michael Alexander.

From McCaskill’s customary charging in with the head to Price’s holding and grappling in response, it was a busy night for the official. One of the American’s rudimentary forays in round brought a clash of heads, and McCaskill’s left eye rapidly became badly swollen.

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Price continued to bank rounds, with McCaskill suffering more of the same struggles she endured against the similarly technically accomplished Chantelle Cameron and Sandy Ryan.

A second check from the ringside doctor at the start of round nine brought the end. Price was awarded a shutout of 90-82 on all three cards as she became Wales’ first female boxing world champion and 14th overall for a proud fighting nation.

Price got her jab working early and caught McCaskill on the temple and the champion waded forward in her usual wild style. An obvious problem with the American’s stated desire to turn it into a “dogfight” was Price — who won her gold medal at middleweight — quickly looking like the stronger of the two in the clinches.

A left hook caught a ducking McCaskill high on the head early in round two, but one-time taxi driver Price again found herself presented with a foe only willing to use forward gears. That willingness to engage was greeted by a flurry of head shots at the end of the session.

Referee Alexander warned both fighters about roughhousing on the inside, and McCaskill got a second talking to before the end of round three. Price was able to remain above the fray for the most part, her vastly superior footwork controlling the distance to set up scoring punches.

The champion was sporting a cut above her left ear at the start of round five and another head clash saw the decisively gruesome swelling come up around McCaskill’s left eye. It was then Price’s turn for an Alexander lecture. When they resumed, the home fighter moved smoothly again and caught her foe.

McCaskill shipped a couple of short right hooks in round six. It was hard to judge whether it was her unorthodox style or sight problems that were leaving that opening for Price, whose holding had severely irritated trainer Rick Ramos in the visiting corner.

Doctor checked out McCaskill’s swollen eye at the beginning of round eight before the action was allowed to continue and Price spun away from her compromised opponent to land a crisp combination. The widening distance on the cards and McCaskill’s rapidly closing field of vision meant the right call was made.

The 147-pound division’s other alphabet champions — Natasha Jonas, Ivana Habazin and Sandy Ryan — were all present inside a raucous arena. There are more big nights to come here for Price, who has the skills to put on the sort of show McCaskill wouldn’t allow. That will come in time; tonight it was only the belts that mattered.

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Jessica McCaskill vs. Lauren Price is on May 11. The main card starts at 6 p.m. local time, or 1 p.m. ET, with the main event scheduled for around 10:15 p.m. local time, or 5:15 p.m. ET, depending on how long the undercard fights last.

The fight will air on Sky Sports in the U.K. and Peacock in the U.S.

If McCaskill vs. Price is not available to watch live in your location or if you’re traveling abroad, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs provide a secure and private online connection, allowing you to bypass geographical restrictions to access your favorite streaming services from any device anywhere in the world.

WATCH FROM ANYWHERE: Sign up for NordVPN (30-day money-back guarantee)

The fight takes place in Cardiff International Arena in Wales. The arena can hold up to 5,000 people. 

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